Today is November 1st. November is National Adoption Month. Most of you know this is something which is very near to my heart. Just one year ago, Michael and I were certified to be foster parents. On November 24, 2009, we took in 3 small children from foster care in the hope of adopting them. Through a series of difficult circumstances, we found ourselves unable to care for them and they were moved to a new foster home to be adopted. Sadly, the “system” has made the adoption very difficult on the new parents and, although they have had them for 8 months and both parents’ rights have been given up, the children are still not finally adopted. We continue to pray their adoption will be finalized soon.
We learned so much from our experience. As you know, I am pregnant now and expecting our second child by biology on Christmas Day, 2010. You may be wondering if this means we are through with adoption. The answer is an emphatic, No. Adoption is still something both Michael and I are passionate about and believe we are called to. Although we were very hurt by our past experience, we continue to trust that one day God will pave the way for us to adopt and we will answer that command. It is only a matter of time.
According to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, there are currently 114,556 children in the foster care system available for adoption right now. Last year 29,471 children turned 18 and aged out of the foster care system, leaving them without a family to come home from college to (if they even had the opportunity to go) or to ever remember their birthday. More children become available for adoption every year than are adopted. These statistics are startling. But, here is the more startling statistic: Nearly 40 percent of American adults, or 81.5 million people, have considered adopting a child, according to the National Adoption Attitudes Survey. If just one in 500 of these adults adopted, every waiting child in foster care would have a permanent family. ONE.
I believe the church should be the answer to this problem. God COMMANDS us to care for orphans in his word: “Religion that God the father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after widows and orphans in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27. God adopted us to be His sons and daughters when we do nothing to deserve it. Why not follow His example? I pray that we could all look outside ourselves to what God is calling us to.
Many may say God has not called them to adopt. But, are you listening? Have you asked?